New Delhi, Aug 22: Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki is to arrive in India today to strenghten the bilateral relations that Iraq has developed with the country recently. During the four days of his stay in the country, he would be meeting his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-president Hamid Ansari.
He is being accompanied by high-level delegation, including ministers, senior officials and Captains of Industry.
Being the first high-level visit between the two countries since 1975, when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Iraq, the meeting would address the relationship that both the countries share in the field of hydrocarbons, agriculture and food security, water resource management, education, infrastructure development, pharmaceuticals and medicare, and information technology.
Apart from his meetings with Sushma Swaraj (leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha) and External Affairs Minister Salman Kurshid, he is likely to attend the business luncheon meeting organised jointly FICCI, CII and ASSOCHAM.
Iraq is India's second largest crude oil supplier, with bilateral trade in excess of USD 21 billion in 2012-13. Both the countries are committed to taking their ties in the energy sector to a level higher. The buyer-seller relation is likely to be more broad-based now through beneficial participation by both the countries in oil exploration, refineries, petrochemical complexes and fertilizer plants.